On Sunday, the Egyptian governmental delegation included Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan, representatives from the Foreign and Interior Ministries, a representative of the General Prosecution, as well as the President of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Mohamed Fayek, who all arrived in Geneva to represent Egypt during the meetings.
Fayek said that the Egyptian delegation is ready to answer any questions from the 47-member Human Rights Council, pointing out that the meeting will give the Egyptian government the opportunity to respond to rumours of improper human rights conditions and unobjective reports, noting that Egypt is facing a fierce attack by foreign organisations.
He also stated it is important to respond to all false reports on the reality of the situation in Egypt, adding that it is also an opportunity to witness the extent of Egypt’s progress.
“We are ready to show Egypt’s commitment to international convention on human rights,” he added.
When asked about the role of the NCHR, Fayek said the council has the right to make any observations and recommendations to the government, which mostly receives quick response and approval.
Fayek further added that there is a big leap in civil and political rights, but there are some observations that the state attributes to terrorist organisations. “However, our message and demand in the council is always to stress that security and human rights are an integrated process and our duty is always to not sacrifice something on the interest of the other,” he added.
“The state is committed to human rights standards to a great extent. There are some problems that can be solved after amending or drafting some bills, but at least we try to improve the situation,” Fayek illustrated.
Regarding the preparations of the review session, Fayek elaborated that they held meetings with the relevant ministries, councils, and civil society organisations to view all the observations and discuss them before the UPR’s session
“The council held about five meetings in different governorates with representatives of civil society organisations in this regard,” he said.
With regards to the foreign media’s situation in Egypt, Fayek said, “We cannot say that the Western media is all against us, but there are some media outlets in Egypt that publish false information.”
Moreover on Monday, Saeed Abdul Hafiz, the head of Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue said, ”The human rights situation in Egypt is witnessing remarkable progress, and there is a big need to continue dialogue with Egyptian government institutions in order to urge them to improve the human rights situation in Egypt.”
His remarks came during a seminar at the headquarters of the International Council on Rights in Geneva in cooperation with several Egyptian NGOs.